Work on major new windfarm to begin next year after winning approval

A new windfarm has been approved in Yell – more than a decade after plans were first announced.

The Energy Isles windfarm will feature up to 18 turbines generating enough energy to power more than 150,000 homes.

With a maximum blade height of 180-metres it will be the tallest development in Shetland – some 25-metres taller than the turbines in the Viking Energy windfarm. 

Construction is expected to begin at the site in north Yell next year, generating an estimated £17.3m of investment in Shetland.

During the 30-year lifetime of the project, it will also provide almost £19m in community benefit for the local area.

The project was started in 2012 by a consortium of more than 50 mainly Shetland-based businesses with the aim of retaining the benefits of the emerging renewables sector within the isles.

Derek Jamieson, from Energy Isles Ltd, said: “The strong support of local folk, including the businesses involved in Energy Isles Limited and supporters in the communities in the North Isles, has been fundamental to this outcome.

“We’re very glad that the Scottish government has recognised how important this project is to sustainability of peerie island communities like ours looking to build towards a greener future.”

Norwegian energy giant Statkraft was announced as the development partner in 2019, to work on the final stages of development, as well as construction and operation of the wind farm.

The company is seeking to establish Shetland as a key renewables hub.

In April 2023, it bought two windfarms currently in construction –  Beaw Field in Yell, and Mossy Hill, just outside Lerwick.

The firm intends to open an office near the Lerwick development later this year.

Statkraft says the project will be a significant step towards decarbonising electricity generation across Shetland and the UK and will help achieve its ambition of generating 1,200MW of wind energy by 2030.

Principal project manager for Energy Isles Rebecca Todd said: “I’m delighted that the Scottish government has granted consent for the Energy Isles windfarm in Yell.

“This is one of Statkraft’s most important projects, and will generate a significant amount of renewable electricity, while improving energy security.

“Alongside this, Energy Isles will deliver at least £18.9m through a community benefit fund, for local people.

“This would not have happened without the vision of Shetlanders who started this ambitious scheme back in 2012 and who have supported it all the way through.

“We’d like to thank the people of Shetland and the Energy Isles Consortium for their drive and determination to decarbonise the North Isles and the hard work and backing for the project that they have provided.”


Add Your Comment
  • David Spence

    • October 2nd, 2023 22:10

    I am intrigued to find out, overall, how much will this project cost the average shetlander and what, if any, benefit will it be in comparison to this of conventional means of power – Scottish and Southern Electricity?

    Will the people on Shetland be much worse off economically, except those people who may have a ‘ private investment in the company ‘, than using other resources of energy?

    Another aspect of utilising natural resources, why has Sullom Voe’s burning of natural gas (?) not been utilised efficiently as another resource of energy?

  • Bob Marsh

    • October 4th, 2023 0:11

    Like David Spence, while appreciating the persistence over time of Energy Isles in pursuing this project and support latterly of Norway’s Statkraft, intrigued also to learn how division of equity, cost and revenue in the project apportioned. Has EI equity, or in to allocate only the paltry £800,000 annual community fund.

    Must commend Norwegians understanding of the land and sea resource development Shetland presents for profit, as evidenced also by Equinor’s Rosebank. Regret again a Shetland based commercial entity, even SIC on behalf of the islands population driving to expand local supply and reduce energy costs, is not more involved in funding and management of clear opportunities. Even Scottish owned corporations, since SSE’s Viking unfortunately likewise essentially foreign owned. Whoever develops such projects surely would co-opt local contractors, that factor a given with the remoteness.

    Finally, with the number of developments already sanctioned providing so much power potential well in excess of Shetland’s needs, one hopes a halt will be called to further environment decimation, onshore and offshore, to satisfy others greening. As example Viking, and the number of offshore structures planned for sanctioned fields. EI represents another 4149 acres, 30 years land degradation to fit that project.


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